Grant Leisure Line Timely Recreation and Leisure News, October 2008

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Vertical Farming: Who Would Have Thought? Grant Leisure Contributes To Visionary Urban Agricultural Initiative *** GLI To Begin Work On The Magical World Of Asia *** The Avalanche Project Set To Begin Second Phase *** Grant Leisure and Xscape Leisure Combine Forces *** Over 125,000 Endangered Gorillas Discovered In The Wild *** Discovery Doubles Number Of Known Population of Western Lowland Gorillas

Vertical Farming: Who Would Have Thought?
Grant Leisure Contributes To Visionary Urban Agricultural Initiative

Where does an urbanized civilization find the space to grow its food, when there is no land available for even the smallest of farms? With 850 million of the world's people chronically undernourished and 25,000 people dying every day from starvation, it is small wonder that there is a frantic search on for solutions to the planet's food needs.

Enter Vertical Farm Technologies, an idea born in New York by a "Who's Who" of the world's leading architects, engineers, urban planners and agronomists. To date, the team has developed a vision that confronts the world's increasing shortages of food, water, land, and energy at their point of intersection: agriculture. According to VFT, traditional agricultural practice suffers from wasteful and inefficient use of resources; vertical farming seeks to solve the food, water, and energy crises by "...conscientiously using and reusing agricultural resources." Vertical farms are designed and constructed on small footprints in a variety of multi-story formats. Because of the vertical design, the structure can capture and re-circulate black and grey water.

Other benefits of vertical farming include:

  •     Year-round production in controlled environment
  •     Elimination of weather- or pest-based crop failure
  •     No pesticides or herbicides needed
  •     Elimination of agricultural runoff
  •     Uses only 5% of water traditionally used in agriculture
  •     Runs on passive, renewable energy sources - no fossil fuels used
  •     Creates sustainability and renewal for urban centers

With the assistance of Grant Leisure and the Adasar Group, VFT is developing the first vertical farm facility, which will serve as a research and development tool for forthcoming iterations of the VFT design. Grant Leisure has been appointed to create a mix of leisure and entertainment components for the site, including a farmer's market, all-natural and organic-themed shops, guided tours, corporate hospitality, and more.

Says Grant Leisure CEO Andy Grant of the project, "We view these types of cutting-edge projects as cornerstones for the urban centers of the future. We're very excited about our involvement with the Vertical Farming initiative." Working on the project as part of the Grant Leisure team are Andy Grant, Randall Cox, Robert Liljenwall, and Simon Ody. Eric Kuhne, a Grant Leisure strategic partner and head of Eric R. Kuhne & Associates (London, UK), will be serving on Vertical Farming Technologies' advisory board. For more information on vertical farming, contact Andy Grant at or visit

GLI To Begin Work On The Magical World Of Asia

A new themed resort is underway in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The 2,600-acre Magical World of Asia, under the direction of Grant Leisure, will be Southeast Asia's first major theme park and attraction, according to Andy Grant.

"The Magical World of Asia is an amazing concept, on an amazing site, in one of the world's most beautiful areas - a mecca for entertainment-seekers from all over the world," says Andy. "Our clients, Asun Mawardi and Randy Ly, are highly respected in Malaysia and bring a rich history of entrepreneurship and leadership to this area of the world." Kuala Lumpur is expected to draw more than 22.8 million visitors in 2008; the project will be designed to appeal to both locals and the region's growing tourist market.

The $460 million themed resort complex will feature a variety of different "worlds" which will draw upon some of Asia's most famed assets, such as entertainment, technology, culture and history, and martial arts. The Magical World of Asia will also include a substantial residential real estate development, luxury hotel and spa, championship golf courses, retail shopping district, and restaurants. "It will incorporate the best of today's themed parks along with all the resort and residential amenities found at a Disney World, but on a smaller scale," explains Andy.

Grant Leisure has been retained to conduct a feasibility analysis of the concept, location, business and strategic planning, and financial requirements. Working on the project for Grant Leisure are Simon Ody (market analysis), Robert Liljenwall (marketing, creative development and branding), Larry Wyatt (themed design), Randall Cox (finance), and Clive Jones (international tourist development).

The projected start date for construction is 2010, with the park to be completed by 2013.

The Avalanche Project Set To Begin Second Phase
Grant Leisure and Xscape Leisure Combine Forces

Grant Leisure is heading into the second phase of design development for a unique venture called The Avalanche. Conceptualized by Andy Grant as a special event for ski resorts and other winter sports and entertainment venues, the show is a simulated experience in which visitors in a "Snow Lounge" hear the roaring, rumbling sounds of an avalanche, feel the building trembling, then look out the windows to see the snow crashing down. A dramatic "rescue" ensues. Perfectly-timed lighting and surround-sound effects create a thrillingly realistic experience for guests.

The Avalanche show will take place regularly throughout the day. Meanwhile, the Snow Lounge, designed to look like an ice cave, serves food and beverages in the day time and later transforms into an enticing and unusual nightclub.

The Avalanche project is being developed in conjunction with Xscape Leisure at Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.

Over 125,000 Endangered Gorillas Discovered In The Wild
Discovery Doubles Number Of Known Population of Western Lowland Gorillas

As many of you know by now, Grant Leisure's Andy Grant is the author of Nearly Human: A Gorilla's Guide to Good Living, a unique book on gorilla behavior and conservation drawing on experience from the author's years working with and for zoological institutions such as the Zoological Society of San Diego, the London Zoological Society, and Blackpool Zoo. Nearly Human has enjoyed great success since it was published in October 2007 by Tatra Press, and it is with great enthusiasm that we pass on this news story.

As the news broke in August 2008, CNN reported, "…An estimated 125,000 Western lowland gorillas are living in a swamp in equatorial Africa, double the number of the endangered primates thought to survive worldwide. 'It's pretty astonishing,' Hugo Rainey, one of the researchers who conducted the survey for the U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society, told CNN.    

The last census on the species, carried out during the 1980s, estimated that there were only 100,000 of the gorillas left worldwide. Since then, the researchers estimated, the numbers had been cut in half.    

WCS survey teams conducted the research in 2006 and 2007, traveling to the remote Lac Tele Community Reserve in northern Republic of Congo, a vast area of swamp forest. Acting on a tip from hunters who indicated the presence of gorillas, Rainey said that the researchers trekked on foot through mud for three days to the outskirts of Lac Tele, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the nearest road…'This is the highest-known density of gorillas that's ever been found,' Rainey said." --quoted from

This is, of course, wonderful news for a highly endangered species. Nearly Human: the Gorilla's Guide to Good Living continues to sell well throughout the US and abroad. Visit for more information. To order online, visit or

Text by Robert Liljenwall and Erin Patterson for Grant Leisure Inc.
Design and Layout by Erin Patterson

Contact Grant Leisure:

US: 830 Norman Lane | Montecito, California | 93108 | USA | phone 805.969.1419
Europe: 1 Hammersmith Grove | London | W6 0NB | England | phone 020.3008.2405


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